Municipalities who didn’t slam the door in the wind company’s face should count themselves lucky if they didn’t find their township facing another wind project after the last round of contracts were awarded.
From what Liberal Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli is saying in legislature, any engagement at all ( I suppose even making eye contact), would give the wind company its municipality ‘points’ that furthered their chances of winning the bid.
What is particularly galling is that Dutton-Dunwhich did more than any other township in Ontario – they actually held a referendum – and the population gave an overwhelming NO to any wind developments.
But in the world of Alice in Ontario-land I suppose that even handing these results with a big N O to the wind company would have been the same as saying YES, because they would have had to have some sort of contact with the company. Ethically this is incredibly nasty – the government used words to trick municipalities into ‘engaging’ in the process, even when the engagement was negative!
Enniskillen Mayor Kevin Marriott sensed this was the case a couple years ago, and warned everyone to not speak with the wind companies. From a Sarnia Observer article in May 2014:
“It will be very, very difficult for a developer to be approved without municipal engagement, in some significant way,” Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said last June.
But Marriott said until the province clarifies what it means by municipal engagement, “We’re being vigilant.”
He advised the anti-wind turbine group, Conservation of Rural Enniskillen (CORE), against meeting with the company.
“I said, ‘Whatever you do, don’t consult with them because they may be able to use that as a checkmark,'” Marriott said.
“Who knows what could be construed as public consultation.”